Opelika High School 1911-1918
Education; Lee County, AL; Opelika High School 1911-1918; Opelika, AL; Henry G. Clift High School; Lee County High School
In 1911, the Alabama State Legislature allocated a disbursement to fund a public high school in every county in the state. Opelika solicited private funds to meet the state in the middle, and Lee County’s first stand-alone high school, Opelika High School, opened on the corner of North Eighth Street and Seventh Avenue. Elementary and grammar school students remained in the old Opelika Public School building on Avenue A and Seventh Street. In 1914, Auburn High School successfully petitioned the state high school commission to take the county flagship status as the “Lee County’s Public High School” away from Opelika, a decision that resulted in a funding shakeup and some related resentment. In 1916, Opelika Public High School burned down and its students were forced to re-consolidate with the elementary and grammar schools in the building on the corner of Avenue A and Seventh Street. During the 1916-1917 and 1917-1918 school years, due to the amount of students and size of the older building, Opelika High School and Opelika Public School educators were forced to offer classes during extended hours. Opelika High School’s student body transferred to the new Henry G. Clift High School in 1918 upon its completion.
Text Source: The Heritage of Lee County Book Committee, The Heritage of Lee County, Alabama (Clanton, AL: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 2000), 78.
Alabama Cultural Resource Project